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You know you're from South Africa if...

Updated on June 25, 2009

I love all things sociology. Along with forensics, it was my favorite coursework in college. How utterly fascinating other people are from other countries! I can't get enough of learning about other people and their cultures!

Recently I published my book which had a main character from South Africa. A couple days ago, I had contact on the internet with a South African who shared the following humorous tidbits with me~boy, it would have been nice to have had her around when I was writing that book!




*You call a bathing suit a "swimming costume".
*You call a traffic light a "robot".
*You call a pickup truck a "bakkie"
*You call a Barbeque a "Braai"
*The employees dance in front of the building to show how unhappy they are.
*You get cold easily. Anything below 16 degrees Celsius is Arctic weather.
*You can sing your national anthem in four languages, and you have no idea what it means in any of them.
*You know someone who knows someone who has met Nelson Mandela.
*You go to braai’s regularly, where you eat boerewors and swim, sometimes simultaneously.
*You produce a R100 note instead of your driver's licence when stopped by a traffic officer.
*You have to hire a security guard whenever you park your car.
*You know a taxi can move twice it's certified number of people in one trip.
*You know the rules of Rugby better than any referee
*To get free electricity you have to pay a connection fee of R750.
*More people vote in a local reality TV show than in a local election.
*"Now now" or "just now" can mean anything from a minute to a month.
*You continue to wait after a traffic light has turned to green to make way for taxis travelling in the opposite direction.
*Travelling at 120 km/h you're the slowest vehicle on the highway/freeway.
*You're genuinely and pleasantly surprised whenever you find your car parked where you left it.
*A bullet train is being introduced, but we can't fix potholes.
*You paint your car's registration on the roof.
*You have to take your own linen with you if you are admitted to a government hospital.
*Prisoners go on strike.
*You don't stop at a red traffic light, in case somebody hijacks your car.
*You consider it a good month if you only get mugged once.
*Rwandan refugees start leaving the country because the crime rate is too high.
*You consider a high crime rate as normal.


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      SparklingJem 7 years ago

      Really enjoyed your hubs AsherKade. This is hilarious and mostly true but I have to agree with Tony, our country is still headed in the right direction. The problem is that while most Southern Hemisphere citizens recognise and appriciate the humour, many(not all) people from the the West will take this literally and use it to reinforce their ignorant beliefs about our country and continent. We've started a resistance movement to enlighten the West about Africa and clear up a few misconceptions. :)

    • AsherKade profile image

      AsherKade 8 years ago from Texas

      I wondered and lamented if I should write a hub page on other cultures because I didn't want to seem racist. No one kows really if I am white or black, brown or red, but they may still take an offense. However, because the "list" came from a South African, I figured it would be better received. I will post later on a "list" from TX or the South to make it all "even".

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      As a South African I have seen this list and many like it and it is indeed amusing though not necessarily accurate - obviously exaggeration adds to the humour. I am a South African optimist in that I believe the country is still headed in the right direction and is struggling to overcome the centuries of racism and oppression which characterised it for so long. Things don't always run as smoothly as one would have liked and crime is indeed a problem.

      But the positives still far outweigh the negatives.

      As for knowing someone who knows someone who knows Mandela, that is a measure of how much uTata yeSizwe (the father of the nation) contributed to our lives. Indeed, I can go one better - my wife has actually shaken his hand!

      Love and peace from chilly but sunny South Africa


    • AsherKade profile image

      AsherKade 8 years ago from Texas

      thanks! Glad to make you laugh... Maybe someone can share a list of their social region's facts....

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 8 years ago from On New Footing

      that was funny

    • Eaglekiwi profile image

      Eaglekiwi 8 years ago from -Oceania

      Your list was hilarious!! maybe I have south african blood , no wait I know even more than the referee and the boks that must be make me Kiwi....( hope youre smiling) I dont really know more.....but hey we have irene van dyke, does that count ....smiles for miles....